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Performance Pay for Teachers

Compiled by Arden Rice, April 2010

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Educational reformers are again examining teacher performance as a means to improve student achievement. Prior to President Obama introducing his "Race to the Top" education initiative that requires linking student assessment scores with individual teachers, many school systems around the country were already implementing a variety of financial incentives to encourage teachers to expand their knowledge and develop their skills, mentor new teachers, and accept more challenging teaching assignments. In contrast to "merit pay" programs of the past, new programs seek to take a more holistic approach, combining revised professional development standards and offerings, a more constructive teacher evaluation process, and a mixture of school-wide and individual teacher incentives to create change.

Diversified Teacher Pay Systems Issue Papers / Education Commission of the States. 2007. (372.5/Ed8)

The Effects of Professional Development Efforts and Compensation on Quality of Early Care and Education Services / National Conference of State Legislatures. 2004. (374.1/N212j/pt.2)

Exploring the Possibility and Potential for Pay for Performance in America's Public Schools / Noelle M. Ellerson, American Association of School Administrators. 2009. (372.5/Am31) Summarizes the findings of a survey of over 500 school administrators in 45 states. www.aasa.org/uploadedFiles/Publications/_files/PFPFinal.pdf

Higher Pay in Hard-to-Staff Schools: The Case for Financial Incentives / Cynthia D. Prince, American Association of School Administrators. 2002. (371/Am31)

Paying Teachers for What They Know and Do: New and Smarter Compensation Strategies to Improve Schools / Allan Odden and Carolyn Kelley, Corwin Press. 2002, 2nd ed. (372.5/Od1)

Performance-Based Pay for Teachers in Wisconsin: Options and Opportunities / Wisconsin Policy Research Institute. 2001. (WPRI report; v.14, no.4) (372.5/W752)

Performance Incentives: Their Growing Impact on American K-12 Education / Matthew G. Springer, Brookings Institution Press. 2009. (372.5/Sp8)

"The Problem with Performance Pay"/ Donald B. Gratz, Educational Leadership, November 2009, v.67, no.3. (372.5/G77) A historical look at performance and merit pay with a discussion of how to implement a plan that succeeds where others have failed. www.ascd.org/publications/educational_leadership/nov09/vol67/num03/The_Problem_with_Performance_Pay.aspx

Q Comp - Quality Compensation for Teachers: Evaluation Report / Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor. 2009. (372.5/M6c) An audit of Minnesota's program for performance pay for teachers. www.auditor.leg.state.mn.us/ped/pedrep/qcomp.pdf

Redesigning Teacher Pay: A System for the Next Generation of Educators / Economic Policy Institute. 2009. (372.5/Ec7a)

Standards-Based Teacher Evaluation as a Foundation For Knowledge- and Skill-Based Pay / Consortium for Policy Research in Education. 2006. (CPRE policy briefs RB-45) (377.168/C761a) Analyzes revisions to teacher performance standards in four school districts.

Subcommittee Report and Recommendations / Wisconsin Governor's Task Force on Educational Excellence, Teacher Issues Subcommittee. 2004. (Gov/EducExc/r) (library use only) This report examines how Wisconsin should attract and retain highly qualified teachers and how to compensate especially hard working and successful teachers. http://edexcellence.wisconsin.gov/reports/subcommrpt_teachers.pdf

Teacher Compensation and Teacher Quality / Committee for Economic Development. 2009. (372.5/C73) A group of educators and business leaders compare the predominant "single-salary schedule" teacher pay plan with half a dozen different incentive plans. Recommended changes to the way teacher pension plan earnings are allocated are also addressed.

Teacher Pay and Teacher Quality / Dale Ballou and Michael Podgursky, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. 1997. (372.5/B21)

Teacher Pay Reform Challenges States / Kavan Peterson, Stateline.org Staff Writer, Pew Research Center. 2006. (372.5/P44) www.stateline.org/live/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=137&languageId=1&contentId=93346

Teacher Pay Reforms: The Political Implications of Recent Research / Dan Goldhaber, Center for American Progress. Rev. May 2009. (372.5/C33) www.americanprogress.org/issues/2006/12/pdf/teacher_pay_report.pdf

Teacher Performance Pay: Synthesis of Plans, Research, and Guidelines for Practice / Consortium for Policy Research in Education. 2007. (CPRE policy briefs RB-46) (372.5/C761a) http://cpre.wceruw.org/publications/RB-46%20FINAL%20FOR%20PRINT.pdf

Teachers, Performance Pay, and Accountability: What Education Should Learn From Other Sectors / Economic Policy Institute. 2009. (372.5/Ec7)

Value-added Testing: Improving State Testing and Teacher Compensation in Wisconsin / Wisconsin Policy Research Institute. 2009. (WPRI report; v. 22, no. 4) (373.6/W751m) This report promotes the adoption of Value-added Assessment Methodologies (VAM) to more precisely measure individual student progress in a given year, and thus be better able to reward successful teachers monetarily. www.wpri.org/Reports/Volume22/Vol22No4/Vol22No4.html

State, Local, and Federal Teacher Incentive Programs

ASPIRE - Accelerating Student Progress Increasing Results & Expectations (Houston, TX): http://portal.battelleforkids.org/aspire/home.html?sflang=en

Q Comp - Minnesota: http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/Teacher_Support/QComp/index.html

STAR Program - Special Teachers Are Rewarded (Florida): http://floridaecomp.com/default.asp

Teacher Incentive Fund - Federal: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/teacherincentive/index.html

Teacher ProComp - Denver Public Schools: http://denverprocomp.dpsk12.org

Wisconsin Master Educator License Information - A Voluntary Financial Incentive Program for Wisconsin Public School Teachers to Earn a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) Certificate: http://dpi.wi.gov/tepdl/mastered.html

Related Web Sites

American Federation of Teachers (AFT) - Differentiated Pay: www.aft.org/issues/teaching/diffpay/index.cfm

Center for Educator Compensation Reform: www.cecr.ed.gov

CPRE - Consortium for Policy Research in Education at the UW-Madison Teacher Compensation Project - Subject background, Project Overview, Case Studies and Research:

Teaching Quality - Compensation and Diversified Pay Systems, Education Commission of the States: http://www.ecs.org/ecsmain.asp?page=/html/issuesK12.asp Site includes a database of state and local compensation programs outlining incentives, costs, and evaluation methods. (Select Teaching Quality from the drop down menu)

National Education Association (NEA) - Pay Based on Test Scores?: www.nea.org/home/36780.htm

Teacher Quality - National Governors Association (NGA), Center for Best Practices: www.nga.org/portal/site/ngmenuitem.1f41d49be2d3d33eacdcbeeb501010a0/?vgnextoid=00fb739a87165110VgnVCM1000001a01010aRCRD Includes the following reports:

  • State Policies for Improving Teacher Professional Development
  • Improving Teaching through Pay for Contribution
  • A New Dialogue: Collective Bargaining in Public Education
  • Action Agenda for Improving America's High Schools

TAP - The System for Teacher and Student Advancement, National Institute for Excellence in Teaching: www.tapsystem.org

Primary Sources: America's Teachers on America's Schools: www.scholastic.com/primarysources/download.asp A project of Scholastic, Inc. and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Results of a survey of 40,000 public school teachers on their views of what is needed to reform the American educational system.

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